Before getting to the heart of the tutorial, let's find out what you need to do for activate the webcam of the PC with Windows 7, there is some preliminary information that it is my duty to provide you.
First, know that most of the laptop has a webcam "Standard". The same goes for some stationary computers more recent production, those with a monitor supplied. In all other cases it is not present, which is why one must be purchased Outdoor: if this is your case and you want to receive some advice on which webcam to buy, you can refer to my buying guide.
Also in the case of an external webcam, in order to use it, it is necessary connect the device in advance to the computer. The connection is made via USB cable, connecting the narrow end to the webcam (when the wire is not integrated) and the other end to the USB port on the computer.
Configuration in Device Manager
Having made the necessary clarifications above, let's get to the real heart of the matter and let's find out what are the first steps that must be taken to be able to activate the webcam of a PC with Windows 7.
First, you have to worry about making sure that the webcam is detected by the computer (and if not, make it happen), via Device management, the Windows tool through which you can view and manage the various connected devices.
Then click on the Start button (I cheer with the windows flag) che trovi nella part in fund to sinistra della taskbar, type "device management" in the search field attached to the menu that has opened and select the relevant risultat in the list.
Now that you see the Device Manager window on the screen, locate the entry Image acquisition devices and click on dart placed to the side, to expand the list. Verify, therefore, that in the list of devices that is now shown to you is present the webcam: if the entry for the webcam is there, you do not have to do anything, the device is correctly connected to the computer and installed and is detected without problems by Windows 7.
If, on the other hand, theicon of the device but it is semi-transparent or has a yellow symbol in its correspondence, right click on it and select the item Attiva o Driver software update from the menu that opens, so as to activate the device or update its drivers respectively (in this second case, also specify if you want search automatically an updated driver or if you want to search for the software driver on your computer).
In the specific case of updating drivers (which in most cases are the culprits of the failure or malfunction of a device), if you have chosen to automatically search for the most updated ones but Windows 7 cannot find them, find them yourself. To do this, try to see if a diskette to be inserted in the reader connected to the PC and repeat the above steps.
If you don't have a disk at hand, you can try to see if the drivers are available on the Internet: to do this, just visit the manufacturer's website of your PC (in the case of integrated webcams) or that of the webcam manufacturer (in the case of external webcams), access the section dedicated to support and assistance, search for your device, access the section relating to manuals, software and drivers and proceed with the download. For more information on downloading drivers, read my tutorial on the subject.
Se the webcam does not appear right in the device list, update it by clicking on the menu Action which is at the top and, subsequently, on the wording Detect hardware changes and wait for the list of devices to be available again. If you still can't fix it and if it's an external webcam, make sure you have it properly connected the relative cable to a USB port on the computer, as I explained to you in the chapter at the beginning of the guide.
Activate the webcam of the Windows 7 PC
When the webcam is detected in Device management, to be able to use it on Windows 7, you must start a program capable of exploiting it and it will be immediately ready for use. There is no need to carry out any further particular operations.
As a practical example, if you want to use the webcam to make a video call via Skype, all you have to do is start the application by selecting the relevant one collegamento present in Start menu, choose the contact with whom you want to make a video call from the card Contacts (above), click the button with the camera located at the top right and wait for the video call to start: by doing so, the webcam will be activated and when the contact of your interest responds to the video call he will be able to see you and you, in turn, will be able to see him (if he has activated the webcam, of course), as I explained to you in detail in my tutorial on how Skype works.
If at the moment you have not installed any program on your computer that allows you to take advantage of the webcam but you still want to test its operation, you can contact the online service Webcam test, which is used for this purpose.
To use it, connected to its home page, click on the button Try my webcam which is at the top and answer in the affirmative to the request, which is made on the screen, of agree browser use of the webcam.
After doing this, in a few moments, on the right side of the Web page, you will see the frame of the webcam appear, while on the left you will find all the details relating to it, such as the evaluation of the quality, the number of pixels, the bitrate etc.
If you want, you can also use the Webcam Test service to try taking pictures by clicking on the button Take pictures that you find in the center, and you can view the webcam image on the full screen by pressing the button Full screen.
Programs to activate the webcam of the Windows 7 PC
To conclude, I want to recommend you some software e online services that you can use, specifically, to activate the webcam of your PC: you find them indicated below, I'm sure they will satisfy you.
The first, among the useful programs to activate the PC webcam on Windows 7, that I want to invite you to try is ManyCam: it is a software entirely focused on the use of the webcam that can be used in various ways. It allows you to make video calls (by registering with the proprietary videochat service), create direct streaming, record videos during video conferences, etc. It is free, but it is possible to activate one of the paid plans (with prices starting from 27 dollars / year) that allow you to enjoy extra functions, such as the ability to record in high resolution.
To download ManyCam on your PC, visit the program's website, click the button Download ManyCam x.x which is in the center of the page and, subsequently, on that Download Now.
Once the download is complete, open the .exe file obtained and, in the window you see appear on the screen, click on the button Yes. Then click on the button Accept, select the voice No, thanks and his bottone award Finish, but will conclude the setup.
Once the ManyCam window is displayed on the desktop, in the central part of it you will be able to view what is currently captured by your webcam. In the right sidebar, on the other hand, there are the various controls to change the resolution, zoom, colors and other parameters of the shot, the buttons to add effects, access the gallery, etc.
To start recording a video, you need to click the button with the camera which is located at the bottom. When you deem it appropriate, you can stop recording by clicking on the same button again, while if you need to pause it, just click on the appropriate button located on the left.
As for the ability to take pictures, you can do this by clicking the button with the camera. The button with theAntennainstead, it allows you to start a live stream on Facebook, YouTube or other supported services.
Debut Video Capture
Another solution I recommend you try is Debut Video Capture: it is a program that allows you to completely manage the webcam connected to the PC and that also brings some advanced controls, such as those that allow you to record the screen and shoot through the PiP mode. It is free, but it cannot be used for commercial purposes, otherwise it is necessary to purchase the Pro version of the program (with costs starting from 40 dollars euros).
To download the program to your PC, visit its official website and click on the button Download Now.
In segito, apri il .exe file you got, click the button Yes, in the window you see appear on the desktop, and then click on the buttons Download and install in cittàn e NEXT, to complete the setup procedure.
Now that the software window appears on the screen, click on the button webcam located at the top left. After doing this, the webcam will be activated and you will be able to see what is reflected by it in the central part of the screen.
At this point, you can press the button with the red circle located at the bottom to start a video recording and you can use the adjacent buttons to pause the recording and to stop it. By clicking, instead, on the button with the camera you can take pictures.
Before starting recording or before taking photos, you can also choose the output format of the file from the drop-down menu Record webcam as, always located at the bottom, and you can access the options related to encoding, video, audio, effects, etc., using the additional buttons located at the bottom of the screen.
To access the history of recordings and photos taken, however, click on the button Recordings, located at the top right, and you will immediately be shown the list of all the files obtained.
If you do not want to install new programs on your PC, in order to take advantage of the webcam on Windows 7, you can contact the online service webcamera.io. It's free, it works in conjunction with browsers Chrome e Firefox and allows you to record videos and take photos using the webcam connected to your computer.
To use webcamera.io, go to the home page of the service and granted the latter to access the microphone and the webcam, answering affirmatively to the warnings you see appearing in the browser window. Afterwards, you will be able to view what has been captured by the webcam in the central part of the window and you can start controlling your device to record videos or take photos.
To be precise, to start a video recording, all you have to do is click on circular red button, located in the lower center, while clicking on it again can stop it. The adjacent button, on the other hand, allows you to pause shooting, while the one with the camera, located on the left, allows you to take photos.
You can then save the videos and photos obtained by clicking on the button Save, which will be shown to you along with the preview, after capture. By clicking on the button with the basketinstead, you can delete everything.
I also point out that, by clicking on the button in the shape ofgear located at the bottom right, you can change the settings relating to the use of the service. For example, you can choose whether to enable mirror mode (which allows you to mirror the captured image) and to set a different video quality.How to activate the webcam of the Windows 7 PC